My dad was an argumentative sod. He’d sit at the dinner table with a bunch of friends my mum had carefully invited, and be purposefully provocative. Take the most extreme view on something just to get a reaction and kick start a heated debate. Quite understandably my mum was frequently mortified, vowing never to have guests over again.
Once, he ordered a pink gin from a very camp waiter at his local restaurant. I could see the glint in his eye. He wanted to see what might happen. To anyone else looking in he’d have looked like a rude, misogynistic pig. But if you knew him, however rude it might have been, you knew what he was up to, and you couldn’t help but smile.
With this blogging thing, i’ve started to realise i’ve got a bit of the argumentative sod about me too. Not that i would ever deliberately say anything that might hurt someone else, and i’m certainly not about to order a dirty white mother at a pub in Toxteth. But i certainly like a debate. And I’ll usually try to provoke one.
Yet I find good banter really difficult to find in blogger world. I’ll often deliberately make my posts a little provocative, and my tweets are often cheeky. But sadly someone rarely picks up the bait and runs with it.
You see, opinion isn’t fixed. Just beause I might blog about something one way one day, doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind the next week and take the other side. That’s what life is all about, surely? You learn through experience, so your views can only ever be supported by the experience or the coversations you’ve already had. There is nothing more humbling than to go from one point of view to the opposite extreme simply because someone has so convincingly argued their case.
So i long for someone to come along and disagree with me. Feel so passionately that we can have a good old chat about it. I’m not saying i like a slanging match. In fact there’s nothing I hate more than unnecessary aggression. The way forward is always through intelligent and respectful debate.
So if that makes me an argumentative sod then so be it. At least I won’t have a sore arse from sitting on too many fences.